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Letter to the Editor: Vote Dr. Kermit Jones and Belle Starr Sandwith

In these closing days before the General Election, one thing stands out vividly for me: the refusal of Republican candidates to appear on a public stage with their opponents, to answer questions for the benefit of the voters. I’ll call this what it is: anti-democratic Republican cowardice.

Our “local” Republican candidates for Congress and State Assembly are two such that fall in this category. Of course, they are only following the national Republican playbook in this regard. But, to what purpose? Well, three purposes, actually. First, Republicans, especially those who are already in office (as are both of these candidates) don’t want to be held accountable by the people they are supposed to represent. Second, Republicans don’t want to have to deal with questions they, themselves, have not already approved (and perhaps even planted). And, third, they know that, in many cases, if they refuse to engage in a debate or forum with their opponent, the event will be cancelled, and voters won’t have that opportunity to hear from the Democratic candidate.

In our “local” races, the Democratic candidates, Dr. Kermit Jones, running for Congressional District 3, and Belle Starr Sandwith, running for State Assembly District 1, both agreed to engage in debates/forums with their Republican opponents. However, both Kevin Kiley and Megan Dahle refused to participate, therefore depriving us, the voters, of the opportunity to hear from all the candidates, in order to inform our decisions.

Anti-democratic? Yes, because the democratic process insists that every eligible voter have the opportunity to cast an informed vote, and that those who want to be elected have the responsibility to provide that information. Cowardice? Yes, because the definition of a coward is “a person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.”

Among all the other reasons I could give why you should vote for Dr. Kermit Jones and Belle Starr Sandwith, I add this one: they are both the epitome of democratic patriots.

Paul Guffin

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